County Kildare Chamber hosted their final business breakfast for 2018 in Naas this week with guest speaker Tony O’Reilly Jnr, CEO of Providence Resources to a business audience of 160 companies.
Tony talked about his background growing up in Kildare and his career path which led him to become CEO of Ireland’s leading independent oil and gas exploration company.
Tony argued for the vital importance of the oil and gas industry in Ireland and the increased investment in the sector. He noted that a recent PwC survey advised that approximately €500 million is set to be invested in Ireland’s oil and gas sector over the next two years.
He also used his speech to criticise legislation that is currently being reviewed by Dail Eireann – The Climate Emergency Measures Bill – which proposes banning all offshore exploration for oil and gas in Ireland.
Tony made a number of arguments against the Bill, including that it would damage the Irish economy and jobs, now and in the future, threaten the security of Ireland’s energy supply and do nothing for the environment.
In his address to the business community in Kildare, Tony noted the importance for organisations like County Kildare Chamber to continue to lobby for businesses on issues like this.
The Deputy Leader of Fianna Fail Dara Calleary TD was in attendance and noted that a county business organisation is crucial for Kildare especially with its close proximity to Dublin and with the amount of large SME’s, Multi Nationals and HPSU’s that operate in the county.
Colm O’Callaghan, Tax Partner with PWC provided the room of a synopsis of Budget 2019 and the finance bill that is currently going through legislation.
Allan Shine, CEO of the Chamber acknowledged the importance of continued oil and gas exploration and stated that whilst climate change is upon us we need to continue oil and gas exploration .
“We all recognise the need to address climate issues. However, with Ireland being powered by 92% fossil fuels now, oil and gas will play a pivotal role into the future as we transition to a low carbon economy.”